Jakobstad / Pietarsaari

 

Jakobstad (Swedish: Jakobstad) is a Finnish city located in the province of Ostrobothnia on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. The total area of ​​the city is 396.35 km2, of which 88.44 km² is land. The center of Jakobstad is characterized by wide streets and esplanades separating the districts. The western areas of the municipality, in turn, are dominated by agriculture and forestry. The city is inhabited by 19,198 people. Jakobstad is bilingual: at the end of 2018, 56.3 per cent of the population spoke Swedish and 34.7 per cent Finnish.

The town was founded in 1652 by the widow of Count Jakob De la Gardie, Ebba Brahe, with the permission of Queen Kristiina of Sweden. Pietarsaari received a partial right of way in 1765, and at the end of the century Finland became Finland's largest ship producer. In 1950, new areas from the Pietarsaari countryside were joined to Jakobstad. At the same time, migration to the city was driven by new industrial facilities. The restructuring of the economy has also affected Pietarsaari, and traditional factory jobs have been lost in the region, but new industry has emerged to replace them. The processing sector has a clearly larger share of Pietarsaari's workforce than the Finnish average.

Jakobstad is known as the birthplace of the national poet J. L. Runeberg, and the city hosts an annual literature-focused Runeberg Week. Attractions in the city include Pedersöre Church, built in the 1520s, and the Strengberg Tobacco Factory, which has the largest clock in the Nordic countries in its bell tower.